2010 Mazda MAZDASPEED3 vs. Its Competition

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

At well below $25,000, all said, the Speed3 provides more performance than the Honda Civic Si or the Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V, while costing significantly less than the Subaru WRX or Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart.

The 2010 MazdaSpeed3 feels a little edgy and has a tuner-car personality, so for buyers who want more frugality than sport, the Honda or Nissan might have a better overall balance.

If you’re willing to invest in a set of snow tires, the Ralliart or WRX might be a better bet for chilly climes, though they cost several thousand dollars more.

Please note that TheCarConnection.com hadn’t yet driven the new Volkswagen GTI—one of the Speed3’s chief rivals—at the time of this review.

2010 Mazda MAZDASPEED3Browse Used Listings2009 Volkswagen GTI 2009 Volkswagen GTIBrowse Used Listings2007 Honda Civic Si 2-door Coupe Manual w/ST Angular Front Exterior View2007 Honda Civic SiBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.4
Overall the 2010 MazdaSpeed3 delivers pulse-quickening thrills for the back roads—or weekend track forays—all on a tight budget, without sacrificing too much practicality for everyday commuting.
7.8
The 2009 Volkswagen GTI is the most conservative-looking of sporty hatches—and a bit pricey for a dressed-up Rabbit—but it redeems itself with the driving experience.
MSRP From  
$23,340$23,230$21,090
Gas Mileage  
18 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy
Engine  
Gas I4Gas Turbocharged I4Gas I4
EPA Class  
CompactCompactCompact
Style Name  
5-Door HB Manual Mazdaspeed3 Sport2-Door HB ManualSi 2-Door Coupe Manual
Drivetrain  
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity  
555
Passenger Doors  
N/AN/AN/A
Body Style  
5 Door Wagon2 Door HB2 Door Coupe
Transmission  
Manual w/ODManual w/ODManual